Orange Rhubarb Jam Recipe

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This orange rhubarb jam recipe for canning is made with liquid pectin and makes about 4 pints. I had an excess of rhubarb so I went in search of some new ways to use it up. Orange Rhubarb Jam? Never heard of it. Let’s try it! That combination of tartness from the rhubarb stalks and the sweetness of the oranges… delightful!

Four small jars filled with orange rhubarb jam.

If you’ve ever wondered what to do with that surplus rhubarb, this delightful combination will surely win you over. Orange Rhubarb Jam is the exciting twist you never knew you needed!

Know your Canner

Before you start this project, if you are not familiar with using a water bath or steam canner, I recommend reading 

This will familiarize you with how they work and what steps to take to get set up for any canning project. 

If you have not heard of steam canning I do highly recommend you consider it.  It is an alternative to the water bath and I’ve pretty much switched over! 

Orange Rhubarb Jam; Extended Directions and Expert Tips

The first thing you’ll do is get out your canning equipment and prep. The goal is to have the canner and jars hot (not boiling) when you are ready to put the jam in jars. Then proceed with making your jam.

Making Orange Rhubarb Jam


  • 2 1/2 pounds of fresh rhubarb, diced
  • 6 cups of sugar
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 package of powdered pectin

Preparing the Oranges and Rhubarb

Start by washing, and dicing the rhubarb. You’ll want to weigh it after you dice it. 2 1/2 pounds per batch.

Zest one orange. I ended up with about 2-3 tablespoons of zest. If you prefer a stronger orange flavor, zest both oranges.

Zesting is done by scraping the outer orange layer of the orange peel. You can use a small tool called a zester, or a cheese grater works as an alternative.

Alternatively, you could slice one orange peel up very thinly. My boys don’t like the texture of the orange peel, so I use the zest. (Shh, don’t tell them it’s got orange peel in it.)

Squeeze the juice from both oranges and measure it. Add enough water to equal 1 cup.

If you chose to slice the orange peel, remove the white pith from the inside of one orange and thinly slice the remaining peel.

Many Jams require the use of lemon juice. This recipe does not include it. Just the orange juice is fine.

In a large saucepan, combine the orange juice, diced rhubarb, and zest (or sliced peel). Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, lower heat and simmer covered for 3 minutes.

orange juice, diced rhubarb, and zest combined in a saucepan

Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to steam for a few more minutes until the rhubarb is tender and mushy.

Add Pectin and Sweeten

Stir in the powdered pectin and bring the mixture to a boil.

Add the sugar, stirring well, and return the mixture to a full rolling boil.

Boil the jam hard for 1 minute, stirring often.

Why is my jam green? Enhance the Color (Optional)

I’m growing green stalked rhubarb. I assume this is why my jam is an unsightly green at this point. It doesn’t affect the taste… but it can be unappealing. If your rhubarb variety gives your jam a green color, you can add red food coloring for a more appealing cinnamon hue.

pot of orange rhubarb jam with a cinnamon hue.

Start with about 15 drops and adjust to your preference. Feel free to skip this step if you’re okay with the natural green color.  But I know my boys and I don’t think green jam would go over too well. (remember don’t tell them it’s got orange peel!)

Canning Orange Rhubarb Jam.

Skim foam if necessary. I didn’t have much foaming.

putting jam in a jelly jar on the counter with a canning funnel and red ladle.

Fill hot jars with hot jam leaving 1/4 inch headspace. This recipe can be done in pint or half pint jars.

Wipe the rims of your jars clean. Any stickiness may interfere with a seal.

top view of wiping the rim of a jar just filled with jam.

Add on your lids and screw bands and tighten finger tight.  Place the jar in the warm canning.  

Process according to water bath or steam canning methods. 

1/2 pints or pints are processed for 10 minutes. Be sure and adjust for your altitude. Adjustment chart is in the recipe card below.

This jam is steam canning friendly! Consider the steam canner if you want to save energy and water. Use the same processing time, just follow the directions on how to use your steam canner.

spooning orange rhubarb jam out of a small jelly jar.

Note on Orange Zest 

The original recipe calls for thinly sliced orange peel using half of one orange. I know my family; peels would not go over well, so I used zest instead. They have no idea zest is in there, but it adds that flavor. I zested one orange and ended up with about 2 to 3 Tbsp. of zest.  

Zest is the outer orange layer of the orange peel. A zester is a handy little tool used to zest an orange. Scrape it along the outside of the orange, being careful to only scrape off the orange outer layer. If you don’t have a zester, a cheese grater will work.

More things to do with Oranges and Rhubarb.  

Freezing Rhubarb – Learn how to freeze rhubarb for later use.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam – This strawberry rhubarb jam recipe is made with equal parts of Strawberry and Rhubarb. My favorite combination!

Canning Oranges – Water bath canning instructions for canning oranges or grapefruit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you peel rhubarb when making jam?

If your rhubarb isn’t fibrous you don’t have to peel it. The only time you might want to peel rhubarb when making jam is if it is late in the season. The rhubarb might get a bit tough. But usually it is fine.

Is rhubarb high or low in pectin?

Rhubarb is low in pectin. This is not a problem in this recipe as the oranges have pectin and you are using the powdered pectin which will ensure the jam sets up correctly.

I want a no canning rhubarb jam recipe. Will this work?

Did you know you can skip the canning part of canning jam recipes? Just store the jam in the fridge or freezer if you don’t want to process it for storage on the shelf.

How long does homemade jam last in the fridge without canning.

If you choose to just store this in the refrigerator the storage time is much less. A couple weeks would be max. In the freezer it will last a couple months just fine. It may be freezer burnt after that.

How long does homemade rhubarb jam last?

Home canned rhubarb jam will last for at least a year. After that the color may start fading. The nutritional value of home canned foods deteriorates after that first year as well. Don’t throw it away! Just make a plan to use it up. Jam is one food I’ll store and use for several years with no worries.

How do you use this jam?

Oh it can be used just like any other jam. Make a peanut butter and jelly (er jam) sandwich. Pour it over ice cream (sooo good with ice cream) Spoon it into some plain homemade yogurt. Use in muffin recipes or other baked goods.

Recipe Card

Orange-Rhubarb Jam

I had an excess of rhubarb so I went in search of some new ways to use it up. Orange Rhubarb Jam? Never heard of it. Let’s try it!
Print Recipe
Four small jars filled with orange rhubarb jam.
Prep Time:1 hour
Processing Pints (adjust for altitude):10 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 10 minutes


  • 2 ½ pounds Rhubarb
  • 6 cups Sugar
  • 2 Oranges
  • 1 package Powdered Pectin
  • Red Food Coloring optional


  • Start by preparing jars and getting water in the canner heating. You want the canner hot, but not boiling, when the jars are ready to be processed.
    See full water bath canning instructions here.  

For a Hot Pack

  • Wash and dice rhubarb into 1/2” pieces.
  • Zest one orange.
  • Squeeze juice from both oranges.
  • Measure juice and add enough water to equal 1 cup.
  • Combine orange juice, rhubarb, and zest in large pot.
  • Simmer covered for 3 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and let steam until rhubarb is cooked soft.
  • Add pectin and bring to boil.  Add sugar and stir. Return to boil.
  • Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Skim foam if needed.
  • Fill hot jar with hot jam, leaving 1/4” headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles, wipe rim clean, and place seal and ring. Place the jar in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars. Process according to the chart below.  


Processing with a Water Bath Canner
Place the jar in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars placing them in the canner.
When all the jars are filled, bring the water in the canner to a boil.  When a boil is reached that is when you’ll start your timing.   Process for the length of time on the chart below.  Adjust for your altitude. 
 After your time is over, turn the heat off remove the lid and allow the canner to rest for about 5 minutes. Then bring your jars up out of the water.  Allow them to rest for another 5 minutes. Then remove the jars and place them a few inches apart on a thick towel to cool completely.  Leave them alone for about 12 hours.  
When they are cooled remove the metal bands, check the seals, label the jars and store them away! 
Processing Times for Water Bath Canner (Hot Pack) 
Altitude – Half Pints and Pints are Processed the Same 
0-1,000 ft – 10 minutes 
1,001-3,000 ft – 15 minutes 
3,001-6,000 ft – 20 minutes 
Above 6,000 ft – 35 minutes 
Adapted from: Ball Blue Book 2009
Servings: 4 pints

Adapted from Ball Blue Book 2009

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